Wednesday 18 May 2011

Beach Boys cover

I'm mid-way through my exams now (thus the reason I haven't posted in over a week), but that hasn't stopped me from having a little fun! As a quickie, I'd like to give you this:

All the instruments were played by me. I used a drum loop, and recorded some custom parts for it with my keyboard, and recorded all the vocal tracks, which took forever and a day. Hope you like it! :)

Yours truly,

Sunday 8 May 2011

A rarity from the back catalogue

Hello all! I'm mid-way through my exams, so only another short post here, but I have something very rare and very special to share with you all. As you no doubt know, I love collecting rarities and bootlegs, and I am attempting to collect most of the studio B-sides from R.E.M.'s huge collection of singles. However, no matter where I looked on the Internet I just could not find The Lion Sleeps Tonight, a cover of the Tokens' hit that the band placed on The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite in 1993.

But then, after I realised that I would not be able to find it on the Internet (I had tried YouTube, Spotify and tons of bootleg sites), I headed over to Amazon and saw the single for a mere £0.02 (plus £1.26 P+P)! Excited, I went ahead and bought it so I could then share it with all you lovely people out there.

So, without further ado... the first time this has ever appeared on the Internet... The Lion Sleeps Tonight!

Get back to me and let me know if this works... it says this video is blocked worldwide. :S

Yours truly,

Monday 2 May 2011

Two new films released - CIN film project

Well, happy birthday to me, it seems! I've turned 16 today, and to celebrate I have a little surprise for you all - two new offerings from the Collapse Into Now film project. First up, we have Every Day is Yours to Win, which actually came out a while ago (but I was being sneaky and left it out my last post!). Accompanying this is an introduction from Michael and one of the directors, Jim McKay.

An interesting video, no doubt, with some quirky choices of actors. In the intro video, Michael and Jim state how they were inspired by Chris Rock (Google her), and her antics on the Internet. Things then took a very weird turn when Chris, a fan herself, actually wrote a comment on the video! Small world, eh?

I can't embed Discoverer onto this page, so you'll have to head to to see it (WARNING: Very flashy). The interview below the seizure-inducing film is also rather insightful, with Michael explaining that the song's inspiration came from New York. We also find out the name of Lynda Stipe's pitbull. ;)

I would write more today, but I can't be bothered... it is my birthday, after all! Later today I will be heading to a recording studio to play a few songs: one which I have written, and a cover of that Mikey Mills classic Near Wild Heaven. Until then!

Yours truly,

P.S. Funny, this - Lynda's experimental band is called Flash to Bang Time. Upon checking out the band Myspace page, I discovered that their record label is "Happy Birthday to Me"! Synchronicity or what?

Friday 29 April 2011

To clear things up...

...about my last post, which may have confused you somewhat. I was unable to write a full explanation as to why I felt the need to host a seemingly-irrelevant image on the blog. Now, however, with more time on my hands I'll be happy to fill you all in, and update you with the latest news in the world.

Just yesterday I stumbled upon the site, a website containing a 'ring' of R.E.M.-related forums, fansites etc., with the opportunity to join yourself. Naturally, I jumped at the chance and added the HTML code to the bottom of this blog, sending my application form as soon as possible. However, to get the image to display I had to alter the HTML and use an image that I hosted... and the only way to do that was to host it by uploading it to a post on this blog. So, mystery solved!

I don't know whether I will be on the WebRing soon or not, as the site seems to have been devoid of updates for years. Indeed, the most recent posts I could find on their forum are over a year old, so it remains to be seen if my website will join those listed in the page index. If a month passes without any notification, I'll delete the HTML.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to announce that some cool things are happening at Remmo and Kugat have been doing a great job with the site, and I've been doing my best to help out whenever I can, posting news and the like. Recently I posted a list of songs that might be relevant to the "Music" section of their site... anyway, to cut a long story short, one thing led to another and now I'm collaborating with them to make improvements to that section of their website. I'm very excited about this - more to come, hopefully!

After a long spell of silence, Michael seems to be back on the laptop and writing articles for R.E.M. HQ and TIME magazine. His most recent post, a plug for his friend Christy Turlington's Mother's Day charity record, is written in his usually cheery mood, and characteristically without much grammar. You can read it here. Michael's TIME article, conversely, seems more polished (likely the result of some doctoring on TIME's behalf), and here he pays a homage to his idol and friend Patti Smith, who has been selected for "2011 TIME 100", a list of this year's most influential people, among, er, other things. Last year, Patti released a new book entitled Just Kids, which I believe is a memoir of sorts, although I haven't read it.

Mike and Peter have been rather quiet recently, but that's understandable considering the huge number of tours and concerts they have been participating in. The Baseball Project's new tour will be making a stop in Toronto (the rumour that Mike is replacing Peter on the tour may or may not be true, but Mike is definitely performing with the group), and our good friend Linda will be there to see the band rock out once more! Linda generously offered to take me with her to see them, but sadly I'm 1) not old enough to get in to the club they're playing in and 2) unable to afford the £1000 return flight to Canada. Some day, some day...

Yours truly,

Thursday 28 April 2011

Joined R.E.M. WebRing

Hello folks! I am writing this to inform you that I have recently joined the R.E.M. WebRing. More updates will follow, but for the time being I'm trying to get the HTML to work, and in order to do that I must host a graphic in this post.

Saturday 23 April 2011

New covers and collab info

Action shot! I think I'm playing Cuyahoga in this picture...

While I may not have much time for writing during this exam period, I have been able to make a few videos for my YouTube account. Due to the time-consuming nature of making tutorial videos, I've stuck to mostly covers, but I did have time to make my first ever bass 'how-to-play' in the form of Radio Free Europe. Here are the links to the new songs, listed below:

The cover of Wolves, Lower was particularly difficult to perform - the guitar part alone is complicated enough, but singing at the same time is nigh on impossible! In other news, we have been treated to some juicy information about the work currently being done by Peter Buck and Mike Mills. Mike has been busy as ever, appearing in a "Strings Extravaganza" at Mercer University, acting as MC for the night and also performing on piano. I've yet to find any good footage of the concert (the best I've had is a half-second shot of Mike playing midway through an advert for the show), but I shall keep looking.

Details have also emerged of a collaboration that took place last year between Saint John and the Revelations and Peter, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin, which you can read about on his website here. Like before, we are sketchy on details and unaware of what was recorded and played, but hopefully some audio from the sessions in Seattle will make their way to us hardcore fans eventually!

Finally, we return to Mike, and the recent news that he will be joining Peter, Scott and The Baseball Project for their "Regular Season" tour. That's right, folks - the Project are hitting the road once again, barely a month after their last outing, the "Cactus League" tour. Although I can't say for sure, my guess is that Mike will be on keyboards, but whether he will be playing every show or just some is unclear.

It seems everybody's been pretty busy lately, but what about Michael? Since his BBC 6 Music interview, no mention of him has appeared anywhere. He's probably trying to get rid of all that jetlag. :)

Yours truly,

Monday 18 April 2011

Live @ The Shore + Exams part deux (Now updated with links 23/4/11)

As much as I've been trying to put it off, exam time is rearing its ugly head once more, this time for real. Starting May 4th, the following month will be filled with stress and underprepared students as the population of Great Britain attempts to pass the tests set before it.

So, with that cheery note aside, onto some important information! Three days ago (15th April) I performed a gig at a Dundee club with my friend Robbie, who joined me midway through the set. Because this was an acoustic show, and pretty much solo, I had the freedom at play whatever I wanted for however long I wanted to. And what better for a hardcore R.E.M. fan to play than... some R.E.M.? :) Here's the setlist in full:

1. I Am a Rock (Simon and Garfunkel cover)
2. ÜBerlin (R.E.M.)
4. We Were Young (original song, the first time ever played!)
Robbie came on for the next four:
5. Beautiful Day (U2)
6. (Don't Go Back to) Rockville (Dedicated to Mike Mills Tribute and REMFan.It)
7. Use Somebody (Kings of Leon)
8. The One I Love (in swing rhythm, like the bonus track on the IRS Document re-issue!)

I'll be posting links as I upload them to my YouTube account, so check back. Now, I think I best get some revision done. The exams are only a few days away, after all!

Yours truly,